Mobile Content for Radio Diploma - Module 7 Smartphone Documentary Filmmaking.

Course Brief

Can a documentary idea get commissioned using just a smartphone? And then can you film and direct that 1-hour television documentary using just a smartphone? The answer to both questions is...yes. During this 2-day workshop, Eleanor Mannion will show you how she did just that. From exploring brainstorming techniques for ideas to developing smartphone filmmaking workflows, Eleanor Mannion will bring you through the process of making a broadcast quality television doc on your smartphone.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this two day programme participants will :

  • Learn and use brainstorming techniques
  • Identify stories suitable for smartphone filmmaking
  • Learn how to write your ideas into proposals/treatments
  • Understand how to make a sizzle reel
  • Understand casting, location
  • Understand the importance of the narrative
  • Plan the journey of their documentary - sequences/scenes/shots

Module Content

Day 1

Course Overview - what we aim to achieve


  • The Making of the Collectors
  • What type of documentary suits smartphone production
  • Smartphone Production and Media Management
  • Ways of Brainstorming

Screening : The Collectors Promo and Scene, Documentaries made on Smartphone

Types of documentaries, documentary style, documentary tone and elements of documentaries


Day 2 - Morning


  • Writing loglines
  • Proposals
  • Treatments

Demonstration : The Collectors Proposal/Treatment

Exercise : Write up a logline, proposal, treatment on idea from morning session

Discussion, Review, Q&A

Day 2 - Afternoon


  • The importance of casting
  • Making a sizzle reel

Exercise : Cast your documentary/Plan your Sizzle

Presentation : Narrative/Journey

Demonstration : Lillians Journey

Exercise : Break Journey into scenes, scenes into sequences, sequence into shots